Doncaster 48 Whitehaven 16

Dons' Kyle Kesik (14) celebrates his try with Paul Cooke against Whitehaven. Picture: Andrew Roe
Dons' Kyle Kesik (14) celebrates his try with Paul Cooke against Whitehaven. Picture: Andrew Roe
0
Have your say

PAUL Cooke marked his league debut with two tries and eight goals as the Dons eased past Whitehaven on the opening day of the Co-operative Championship One season.

Cooke and former Wakefield team-mate Kieran Hyde struck an immediate understanding in midfield and the pair were instrumental as the hosts ran in eight tries to the visitors' three.

It took just seven minutes for Cooke to stamp his authority on the game when he cleverly linked up with Craig Robinson and then ran clear for Doncaster's first try of the campaign.

Brad Crellin took advantage of a rare Mick Butterfield mistake to level the scores but the Dons immediately went back ahead through Lee Waterman.

The impressive Hyde went over after capitalising on a mistake from former Don Andreas Bauer, before Kyle Kesik reached for the line and Tom Hodson latched onto a perfect Cooke kick to give the home side a commanding 30-6 half time lead.

The Dons eased off somewhat after the break and allowed the Cumbrians to score twice more through Bauer and Carl Rudd.

In between those tries Liam Cunningham weaved his way through the Whitehaven defence to get his name on the trysheet, before Cooke capitalised on more poor defensive play from the visitors to cross the line from close range.

Waterman then spotted a gap and darted over the line in the closing stages to cap a comfortable win for Tony Miller's side.